"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
Audrey Hepburn

Friday, April 29, 2011

FBFF: Fashion and Fitness go together like peas and carrots

College roomie and I after running our first real race (Turkey Trot 5k)
And then we really stepped it up and ran a 1k :) I know, we're hard core :)
Howdy folks! Happy Friday! In just a few hours I will be making my way up to Boston to go watch my brother play baseball, visit friends and attend my first ever RED SOX GAME!! I've already posted about my excitement on that front, so I'll spare you a repeat and get down to business. Since I know you are all little smarty pants you have probably already figured out from the above photos and the post title that today's FBFF post is all about fitness and how it fits in the world of fashion. (Sorry for my very wordy answers!)

1. Do you keep some kind of fitness routine? Why? Currently, yes (thank goodness) but it hasn't always been the case. From the time I was six years old all the way through high school I was a competitive swimmer, swimming year round and training under a pretty intense schedule (well obviously not when I was six, but you get what I mean!) I had horrid eating habits because I  was able to get away with eating whatever I wanted without it showing, due to the training I was doing. As much as I loved the sport, I burnt myself out competing at that level and got very frustrated with my body when it wasn't able to push past the "puberty plateau" that many female swimmers hit around 14. The greats break through, but most of us peak around 14. I was a peaker. Though I swam in college, it was not at an intense level and was more for the social aspect than the exercise. While my activity level significantly decreased, my poor eating habits remained, and thus I gained weight. Nothing huge, but enough to make me feel very self-conscious about my body. And in turn I decreased my activity level even more because I hated the way everything fit on me, and I wasn't comfortable with myself. After college, I did nothing exercise wise for a good 8 months and that was my low point. My body was really starting to look noticeably different and I was fed up with how crummy I felt about myself. Finally, after I moved in with my roommate (who is a runner and a very fit person!) I started to make some changes. She convinced me to try running with her even though I told her I hated running with a passion. Surprisingly, as we eased into it I found myself not hating it. And then shockingly, I found myself starting to enjoy it and even look forward to our runs each night. For me, it is all about having a buddy to keep me accountable (keep me entertained!) and to keep me motivated to keep going when all I feel like doing is collapsing.

2. Has working out, maybe training for a marathon or something of that nature, helped with your own perception of body image? More than I can even express! Working out for the right reasons has had this effect. I have finally learned that there is no right way to look, and that I have to stop comparing my weight to those around me and focus on what feels right for me. Now that I have gotten into the groove of an exercise program, I have found that I am doing it purely to feel comfortable in my own body and not for numbers on a scale, or to look a certain way. Though the actual weight loss has been small in the last couple months, I feel completely different about my body. Although I would like to lose a few more pounds and tone certain areas (my arms!!) more, I am comfortable with my shape again and that is the best feeling in the world.
3. When you are hitting the gym or just going out for a long walk what do you wear? Is it about functionality or fashion? I would say I am a mix. Functionality is a must for my workout clothes, for sure as I want to be able to move around comfortably in whatever I wear. But you won't see me in boy shorts and a baggy shirt hitting the gym, because I personally feel confident when I wear clothing that emphasizes my femininity. I am not willing to sacrifice feeling confident, even when I am working out. So I like to balance function and fashion by choosing form-fitting, but still flattering, silhouettes for workout gear. Yoga pants and a tank like the one above are my ideal gear. And I also like to keep my pension for color alive while working out because I truly believe I get a boost of energy from dressing myself in something bright.

4. Do you feel there is a cultural perception of what you ‘should’ be doing for your own physical fitness? I think society puts way more pressure on us to be "thin" than "fit" and that is really backwards. Total body fitness is much more important than the number you see on the scale, and we tend to forget that. I know that even when I got to my worst physical fitness point, I still looked an average size, so no one really urged me to do anything different. Because I wasn't a larger girl, they didn't think I needed to change my routine. But I did because my routine was nothing. I needed to be staying active and doing something to improve my health daily, and that wasn't necessarily reflected in my outward appearance. Only you can know what your body needs, and yet we are still pressured by outside forces to "think" we need to be a certain weight or size.

5.  Dream big… what would be your ultimate fitness goal. Though I am enjoying getting more into running, I am not a person who ever wants to run a marathon or anything like that. I get bored running for more than an hour. However, I do think it would be cool to say I completed a 10k maybe? And I would definitely like to look into doing a triathlon of some form, since my real exercise passion is swimming.

What are your thoughts on fitness and fashion? I'd love to know! And don't forget to check out Modly Chic to see lots of other awesome thoughts on the topic! 


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